Palestinians Arrested for Facebook Criticism
|April 9, 2012|
Palestinian journalist, Ismaat Abdul Khaleq, was arrested on March 31, 2012, for allegedly criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook. Abdul Khaleq has denied the accusation that she posted the comments, claiming that other people posted the comments on her page. Still, authorities refused to release her on bail, and decided to keep her in custody for another 15 days.
After Abdul Khaleq’s arrest, the Palestinian journalist Tareq Khamees posted a comment claiming that if the authorities are accusing her of “lengthening her tongue” - an Arabic expression that roughly means speaking out of line - then we should start a campaign of lengthening our tongues. Following this comment, Khamees was arrested , interrogated, and later released.
In addition to Abdul Khaleq, several other journalists languish behind bars in the West Bank. The Palestinian journalist who works for the Jordanian paper Al Ghad was jailed for writing an op-ed that accused the Palestinian embassy in France of corruption. Last September, Palestinian journalist Geroge Qanawti was arrested for criticizing Abbas in a radio show that he runs.